To be able to hit this type of target well, you need to have a plan. Tony Bracci explains how it should be done.
Clayshooting simultaneous pairs is when both targets are launched simultaneously from either one or two traps.
Know your quarry
Sim pairs, two targets released at the same time from the same direction or from opposite directions. From the start, decisions have to be made. Which way round to take them?
Just because you see one before the other doesn’t automatically mean you have to shoot it first.
Which target first?
When assessing your targets, ask yourself which one lends itself to being shot early or late? Can you buy a bit of time by taking one early? If you shoot at one at the sweet spot will the other be disappearing behind a tree? Which one will be out of shot first? Compromises will have to be made on the targets and also footwork. If you don’t have time to move your feet then use some middle ground. If you do, use it and adjust your feet.
Make sure that your head is on the stock and mounted correctly. After the first shot it can lift in a bid to locate the second target. Of the two targets one could be easy and one hard. If you missed an easy one would it be better to take another shot at the easier one or a punt at the harder one? Think it through and plan for all possibilities. There’s no point in losing a pair if you can salvage a point.
Have a plan
With your plan in place, ready yourself at your hold point for the first target. Hold your concentration on the first target, finish your shot and see it break before you move on to the second target. Any distraction or rushing to get to the second target will result in a miss on the first target. If you have planned right there should be no reason to panic.
Stick to your plan
If your plan is working then stick to it. We often see a change of plan halfway through but switching targets to see which way is better is a surefire way to lose targets.Just because you miss a target doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong. Stick to your plan unless it is obvious that it is wrong.
- If you don’t have time to move your feet, use some middle ground.
- Concentrate on the first target.
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Golden rules for clayshooting simultaneous pairs
1. Whatever the presentation of the simultaneous pair, your first shot should always try to take the bird that’s going to ‘disappear from view’ first – this could be the target that’s either dropping to the ground or simply being obscured by natural obstacles; trees, hedges etc.
2. Don’t get flustered – try to think of each bird as a single. If you miss the first target, put it out of your mind and concentrate on the next.
3. Use the birds to your advantage. If the chosen kill point for both targets is in a similar area, focus on that. For instance, don’t try to be a smart arse and kill the first just as it exits the trap if that means you’ve got to completely alter your stance and swing to get on the second.